Who is Ivan Redkach and why is he fighting Danny Garcia on Saturday?


Danny Garcia’s 13-year career has made him well-known in the world of boxing. He’s won world titles at junior welterweight and welterweight and has faced some of the biggest names in the sport, including Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi, Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Brandon Rios and Lucas Matthysse.

Conversely, Ivan Redkach — whom Garcia (35-2, 21 KOs), 31, of Philadelphia, meets in a welterweight title elimination fight on Saturday (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York — has a far lower profile. The 11-year veteran has yet to fight for a world title, and his list of opponents, which does include current titleholder Tevin Farmer, is far less impressive.

Here are some things you should know about Redkach:

He was a blue chip prospect

Redkach, 33, a Ukraine native fighting out of Los Angeles, was a decorated amateur with a record of about 260-40, and he was considered one of boxing’s top prospects.

At the end of 2012 and 2013, I included him on my annual list of top prospects, writing in 2013 (when he was 15-0) that “he’s been devastating as a pro. He’s gifted offensively, attacks the body and has a relentless style.”

Besides his power, body attack and a pressuring style, Redkach earned those props because of his amateur background, which included a spot as an alternate on the 2008 Ukrainian Olympic team that included Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Redkach began boxing as a young child

Redkach lives in Los Angeles, but his family, including his sister and parents, remains in Ukraine.

Redkach found boxing when a cousin took him from kindergarten to the gym at the age of 6. When Redkach was 12, he moved to Brovary, a suburb of Kyiv, to attend a special sports school where he focused on boxing. It’s the same boarding school attended by fighters such as former heavyweight champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko.

Redkach is single, but he has a 10-year-old daughter, Margarita, who lives in Ukraine. He also has a 5-year-old son, Lucas, who lives with him Los Angeles. Former junior welterweight world titlist Viktor Postol is a close friend and the godfather of Redkach’s daughter. Redkach and Postol met at boarding school in 1998.

He’s coming off his biggest win

All four of Redkach’s losses have come to fighters of note. In 2015, he was stopped in four rounds of a lightweight world title elimination bout by Dejan Zlaticanin, who would go on to win a lightweight world title. In 2016, Redkach dropped a 10-round decision to Tevin Farmer, who now is a dominant junior lightweight world titlist. And in 2017, he lost a split decision to former junior lightweight titlist Argenis Mendez, followed by a fourth-round knockout loss to former world title challenger John Molina Jr.

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